The Indian Wedding is Turning Into a Big Fat Superspreader. And This One is On You

Coronavirus

The Indian Wedding is Turning Into a Big Fat Superspreader. And This One is On You

Illustration: Robin Chakraborty

It’s the wedding season in India. One might assume that the pandemic would result in a low-key affair but trust desis to risk the lives of relatives and friends in order to not miss out on a celebration. However, the coronavirus is not something you take lightly, as one couple from Dehradun found out the hard way.

The wedding of a merchant navy officer and daughter of an army officer didn’t quite start on a happy note after the couple tested positive for Covid-19 soon after the nuptials. The groom’s mother, sister, aunt and two maternal uncles were also subsequently found infected. While the aunt is admitted in Doon Hospital and is undergoing dialysis, both uncles died within 10 days of attending the wedding.

Speaking to The Times of India, the bridegroom said that soon after the wedding, they were planning a trip to Himachal Pradesh and took the Covid-19 test as a precaution. He pointed out that nearly 100 people who had attended the wedding are now being traced. Spikes in cases across the country in the post-Diwali period have not affected the enthusiasm around the shaadi season. In a separate incident in Rajasthan, a couple married at Kelwara Covid Centre wearing PPE kits as the bride’s Covid-19 report came positive on the wedding day. 

A wedding where the couple are wearing PPE kits seems surreal, almost dystopian. But couldn’t the ceremony wait?

Social media users have questioned the wisdom behind holding weddings and inviting 50 to 100 guests at a time when conditions are not ideal.

A record number of 4,000 weddings have been expected to have taken place in Rajasthan in a week, at a time when the state was reporting over 3,000 coronavirus cases a day. The reason being attributed was that it was the “most auspicious” time for wedding ceremonies according to the Hindu calendar.

Weddings have turned into super-spreader events and all the fun and merry can quickly turn to despair and horror. While the administration needs to do more to keep the coronavirus spread in check, it can’t help the cause if as citizens, we don’t act responsibly.

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